blueollie

What some Trump haters don’t get (a great Trump ad…really!)

This only takes 2:30 or so to watch. But watch it: I could easily see a Democrat running this ad:

Up to now (at least in recent memory), the standard Republican response to companies leaving is “we have to lower their taxes even more (to even lower than you pay!) to persuade them to stay!”. Here, Donald Trump is offering a different solution; one that will have much better impact on the voting public.

Now COULD a President Trump actually do this? Well, that is another matter. But this is NOT something one usually hears from a Republican front-runner.

Anyway, those who think that Trump’s only appeal is to nostalgia, xenophobia and bigotry are wrong; there is a strong economic populist to his message.

April 14, 2016 Posted by | politics, politics/social, republicans, republicans politics | , | Leave a comment

Reform Republicans and the Democratic primary

Reform Republicans: Paul Krugman recommended Ross Douthat’s rebuke to a column which argued that the Republcians ought to resist reforms that might make them more palatible to the working class.

Krugman writes:

After all, what is the modern GOP? A simple model that accounts for just about everything you see is that it’s an engine designed to harness white resentment on behalf of higher incomes for the donor class.

What we call the Republican establishment is really a network of organizations that represent donor interests because they’re supported by donor money. These organizations impose ideological purity with a combination of carrots and sticks: assured support for politicians and pundits who toe the line, sanctions against anyone who veers from orthodoxy — excommunication if you’re an independent thinking pundit, a primary challenge from the Club for Growth if you’re an imperfectly reliable politician.

To a very casual observer, it may look as if this movement infrastructure engages in actual policy analysis and discussion, but that’s only a show put on for the media. Can you even imagine being unsure how a Heritage Foundation study on any significant issue will come out? The truth is that the right’s policy ideas haven’t changed in decades. Paul Ryan’s innovative idea on Medicare — let’s replace it with vouchers! — is the same proposal Newt Gingrich offered in 1995.

So why are we seeing a crackup of this system now? It’s not because events have called the orthodoxy into question; that has never mattered in the past. On the contrary, failed predictions have never caused even the slightest change in claims: the same people who predicted that Bill Clinton’s 1993 tax hike would kill jobs and that Obamacare would be an economic disaster are making confident predictions about the salutary effects of tax cuts now.

The problem, instead, seems to be demography — an increasingly diverse population means that the party needs to go beyond white resentment, but the resentful whites are having none of it. Oh, and the base never cared about the ideology.

Krugman does take shots at the Democrats, but at least the Democrats acknowledge that we really are a lose confederation of interest groups, and the various interest groups ARE interested in serious policy analysis, at least as far as it concerns the group in question.

Read Douthat’s article; at least the snark is amusing:

What it says is that the Journal has its eyes on the real enemy here. Say what you will about Trump’s protectionist “Bush lied, people died” white identity politics, at least he didn’t endorse a larger child tax credit:

Democrats Yeah, we are seeing an insane “Bernie or bust” faction among some of the liberals. And let’s face reality: he might well win Wisconsin but his path to winning a majority of pledged delegates is very, very narrow.

April 1, 2016 Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social, republicans, republicans politics | , | Leave a comment

GOP Debate (South Carolina): disgusting

I grew up holding this view of Republicans: I though of them as people that I disagreed with. But they were proud of their educations. They always called for proper deportment and sober behavior in public.

What I saw tonight: Trump and Bush issuing sharp insults. Rubio and Cruz trading insults. People also used the word “lies” and “liar”.

The audience cheered, booed, howled, jeered and were so loud at times that the candidates had to raise their voices to speak over them.

Of course, the first questions were about the Supreme Court and they were all about saying that the Senate should not allow an appointment. But then…

Wow. Example.

Biggest: Trump flatly said that the Iraq invasion was a Big Fat Mistake based on LIES and attacked the idea that “Bush kept us safe” by pointing out that 9/11 came under Bush’s watch. That is obvious but often not said.

Did Trump implode? (the audience was packed with Trump haters). Or did he solidify his credentials as the “anti-establishment” candidate?

I really have no idea.

But I hope that the Democrats keep replaying this…because it was disgusting…candidates AND audience.

February 14, 2016 Posted by | politics, politics/social, republican party, republicans, republicans politics | , | Leave a comment

Between classes

I’ve got incentive: IF I get done with grading I’ll get to watch the clowns the Republican debate…and maybe, just maybe, catch the Rams last game in St. Louis on Thursday night. Yes, Donald Trump fascinates me, and yes, his ideas are really mainstream Republican ideas. What the Republican elites object to is his tone and manner of presenting such ideas directly.

I’m done with scoring the final exams for one class and about to start another batch.

Workout notes: 10K shuffle (aka run) in Bradley Park; I was a wee bit faster today than I had been recently. Great weather for December in Illinois (slightly chilly; leggings under shorts was overkill). I didn’t have the “fire in the belly” to push the pace though.

Quick posts

A friend sent me this. There is some truth in this, even for math research talks. Here is what often happens to me: I’ll go to a research talk in an area that is “sort of close” to mine. Now keep in mind that while I’ve been modestly active, because I am a small college professor, my research has been rather narrowly focused.

So the talk might start with some concept that I’ve seen before, perhaps 20-30 years ago. My mind will try to recall that concept and make sense of it….and by the time I return the speaker has moved on and I am hopelessly lost. The good news is that if the topic isn’t too far away, I can often find the speaker’s notes and study them later.

giphmath

Science and Spandex

legginuso

But, but…I was just studying the Periodic Table!

Affirmative Action Yes, I am in favor of affirmative action…done correctly. Many opponents of affirmative action don’t have their facts straight. But some who support affirmative action don’t have their facts straight either.

I am no fan of Justice Scalia but, in my opinion, he had a valid point when he said that some students would actually be harmed by being put into academic programs that they weren’t ready for. Yes, that applies to white students too (some elite universities have “regional affirmative action” which I’ve seen applied to not only racial minorities but to, say, white students from underserved rural areas).

The Naval Academy (and the other service academies) have prep schools to get promising recruits up to speed academically prior to entering and, for the most part, it does little good to throw underprepared students to the wolves before they are ready.

December 15, 2015 Posted by | education, mathematics, republicans, republicans politics, running, science, social/political, spandex | , , , | Leave a comment

Games, free speech, terrorism, etc.

Workout notes: 10 K “run” on the track: 9:59, 9:44, 9:33, 9:32, 9:27. 9:44 then 3:10 walk/jog inner lane 2 laps (58:03 at 6, 1:01:13 for 10K). It was mostly an empty track.
Gads. Though this was not a race effort by any means, IT WAS WORK. Sigh…

Posts: It is the start of Thanksgiving break and so I played hooky and went to a daytime game (no classes). The Bradley women got creamed 72-59 by Western Michigan; WMU lead by 16 before freely substituting.

But hey, it was a game to watch.:-)

Statistics Yes, I know the technical definition of p-value and what “it means”. But attempts to “make it intelligible” to non-experts often fail:

What I learned by asking all these very smart people to explain p-values is that I was on a fool’s errand. Try to distill the p-value down to an intuitive concept and it loses all its nuances and complexity, said science journalist Regina Nuzzo, a statistics professor at Gallaudet University. “Then people get it wrong, and this is why statisticians are upset and scientists are confused.” You can get it right, or you can make it intuitive, but it’s all but impossible to do both.

No fly zones: Turkey shot down a Russian fighter. Ugh. Last I heard, Turkey claimed that the fighter was over Russian airspace and Russia denies that.

Free speech A survey came out about whether it is a good thing to censor speech that “is offensive to minorities”. Not surprisingly, Democrats were more approving of censorship than Republicans (though NOT the majority of Democrats) and the youngest generation (millennials) were strongest in favor of censorship. The good news is that the more educated the person, the less likely that they would approve of censorship. That is good news, given some of the nonsense one hears coming from college campuses these-a-days.

Republicans and Donald Trump

Sure it is still early and most people haven’t started to pay attention to the election. Nevertheless, Donald Trump really is doing well and it should not be that surprising:

Indeed. You have a party whose domestic policy agenda consists of shouting “death panels!”, whose foreign policy agenda consists of shouting “Benghazi!”, and which now expects its base to realize that Trump isn’t serious. Or to put it a bit differently, the definition of a GOP establishment candidate these days is someone who is in on the con, and knows that his colleagues have been talking nonsense. Primary voters are expected to respect that?

And it isn’t a surprise that the terror attacks in Paris helped him:

Conventional wisdom on the politics of terror seems to be faring just as badly as conventional wisdom on the politics of everything. Donald Trump went up, not down, in the polls after Paris — Republican voters somehow didn’t decide to rally around “serious” candidates. And as Greg Sargent notes, polls suggest that the public trusts Hillary Clinton as much if not more than Republicans to fight terror.

May I suggest that these are related?

After all, where did the notion that Republicans are effective on terror come from? Mainly from a rally-around-the-flag effect after 9/11. But if you think about it, Bush became America’s champion against terror because, um, the nation suffered from a big terrorist attack on his watch. It never made much sense.

What Bush did do was talk tough, boasting that he would get Osama bin Laden dead or alive. But, you know, he didn’t. And guess who did?

So people who trust Republicans on terror — which presumably includes the GOP base — are going to be the kind of people who value big talk and bluster over actual evidence of effectiveness. Why on earth would you expect such people to turn against Trump after an attack?

Hey, Fox News and Rush Limbaugh created Donald Trump’s candidacy.

November 24, 2015 Posted by | civil liberties, politics, republicans, republicans politics, running, statistics | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Megyn Kelly mocking Republican debate demands…

OMG, this is hilarious.

Note: Donald Trump is going to Springfield, IL next Monday. I might have to take a road trip!

November 3, 2015 Posted by | politics, politics/social, republicans, republicans politics | , | Leave a comment

Republican debate: the JV session

This was a bit like watching one of those “pre-Christmas” bowl games or a CIT/CBI tournament game.

CLwcQ6FWEAAXxks

So how did it go? My take: the winner(s) were Jeb Bush and Scott Walker. There is nothing for these guys to fear from this group.

Carly Fiorina did the best job of not merely repeating tired slogans, though I wouldn’t say that she jumped out as someone who will break into double digits in the polls.

My quick summary: all don’t like President Obama and will “undo” Obamacare, his immigration executive order, undo the Iran deal, defund Planned Parenthood, etc.

Lindsey Graham: attacked both Bill and Hillary Clinton and was the war monger of the group. Back him if you want more US troops in the Middle East.
Rick Perry: TEXAS, TEXAS, I secured the border, poached jobs, and seemed to imply that Donald Trump was relying on mere celebrity.
Rick Santorum: didn’t disappoint. Was unaware that illegal immigrants can’t vote (said Obama wanted them here for votes) and compared the SCOTUS decision on gay marriage to Dred Scott; called the SCOTUS “rogue”.
Bobby Jindal: still couldn’t explain why he trailed Hillary Clinton in the polls in his own home state.
James Gilmore: why was he even there?
George Pataki: tried to impress that he governed a blue state. Don’t know why he thinks that he has a chance.
Carly Fiorina: probably the best spoken of the bunch, but mostly attacked Hillary Clinton and attacked Donald Trump for his support of single payer and his support of the Clintons.

There were a few obligatory comparisons to Ronald Reagan.

Bernie Sanders was mentioned by Bobby Jindal and praised for “at least being honest about being a socialist”…but this was only a foil to attack Hillary Clinton.

I honestly don’t see how any of these candidates will last much longer though perhaps Fiorina can slip into the top 10..and maybe Graham’s war mongering might get him past 1 percent?:-)

gopjvdebate

August 7, 2015 Posted by | 2016, republican party, republicans, republicans politics | , | Leave a comment

Republican Debate: preview

How I see the race right now:

Elephant___Donkey_2016ColorWeb

I’ll probably watch both the JV session and the varsity session.

Key words, phrases, concepts:

President Obama has been a disaster
President Obama: most divisive President in US history
Recover from Obama
Hillary = Obama’s third term
Obamacare is a train wreck
Hillary and e-mail
Hillary and Benghazi
Hillary and “What difference does it make”
Leadership abroad
Nuclear Iran
Race baiting
Thugs
Entitlement society
Repeal Obamacare
God
Ronald Reagan
Reform social security
Reform Medicare
Get government off of our backs!
Tax cuts for ALL Americans
“free stuff”
Moocher class
Takers not makers
47 percent
Socialist
All lives matter
Illegal Immigrants
English only
guns, guns, guns

Ultimately, who will win the debate? (either one)

In my opinion:
madamepresident

August 6, 2015 Posted by | 2016, politics, republicans, republicans politics | , | Leave a comment

Iran deal and politics

Iran deal Personally, I like the deal as it cuts off Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon; it was designed by those who know how to make such weapons.

But alas, in the opinion of some conservatives it..well…isn’t “tough enough” on a country that we don’t like. Oh, there is that troubling notion of getting other countries to agree to go along.

Politics

Bernie Sanders: I think that this short article lays out the pros and cons very nicely.

Barack Obama: yes, he set out to be “transformational” in that he wanted there to be “Obama Republicans” just as there were “Reagan Democrats”

He failed. Nevertheless, he got some really big stuff done and ultimately he helped the country more than President Reagan did, at least in my opinion. As far as the opinion of others: well, his approval ratings track rather well against the average approval ratings of past 2 term presidents. Here is the graph; the dotted line shows the average and the darker green line was President Bush (II).

Screen shot 2015-07-20 at 7.57.39 AM

Graph generated from here.

No, he didn’t have the charm of President Reagan or President Clinton. But I happen to like his approach. Note: I think that President Clinton (II) will be more like President Obama in that she’ll take a measured, calculated approach.

Republicans Trump might be in the lead in a few polls, but that can be very deceiving when there this many candidates diluting the support for a front runner. The “anyone but Trump” action is strong.

I think that Gov. Walker, Gov. Bush and Sen. Rubio are their strongest candidates. If I had to pick a Republican to be President, I’d probably pick between Gov. Jindal, Sen. Rubio or Sen. Graham.
But I can’t envision a Democrat being nominated that I wouldn’t vote for. And I’ve already given Sec. Clinton a donation.

July 20, 2015 Posted by | 2016, Democrats, hillary clinton, politics, politics/social, republicans politics | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Presidents: past and future, rain, libraries and currency…

Local: yes, it has rained in buckets here. Now only has this past June been the second wettest month on record for Illinois (last time was 1926!) but it was the wettest June in the whole country.

Yes, I’ve always thought that President Carter was underrated, though he did make a mistake by alienating potential allies. I liked his programs, but he seemed to go out of his way to attack liberals.

Now that the 2016 primary season is easing into starting, Hillary Clinton is being attacked from the left…and many of these attacks are coming from the Republicans. Basically, they see Sen. Sanders as being easier to beat (and he would be) so they want to prop him up as much as possible.

And yes, I made my first donation to the Clinton campaign.

Libraries Yes, they are going an transition in this digital age. I admit that I don’t use them very much, except for the electronic databases. Why? I tend to buy the books that I read..even after the fact!

Relationships: this is an excellent TED talk on infidelity. Sometimes affairs (whatever type) defy logic. However I have some confusion as to what constitutes an affair. Sure, physical sex and sex related activity (Bill Clinton stuff) and Anthony Wiener stuff (sexting) qualify. But is that it?

I also think that it is tough to see where you are wrong. Seeing my social media feed has been eyeopening; it seems as if many have a “I am the only sane one; the rest of the world is screwed up” attitude, which is satirized in this Pearls Before Swine cartoon.

pb150709ratperfect

Click on the thumbnail to read the cartoon at the official site.

Fun riddle (hetero guys will have trouble):

I joked that I let her in line in front of me (at a local store). How do you know that is not true?

i-would-be-so-happy

(click on the thumbnail to see the photo at the source)

July 9, 2015 Posted by | 2016, politics, politics/social, relationships, republicans, republicans politics, social/political | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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